A common question I field from teachers, faculty, graduate students, higher education professionals, and researchers these days:
Q: Should I start blogging?
Image c/o Blogiau
Blogging and maintaining a blog is not for everyone. I often ask a follow up question to this inquiry to learn more about the motivating factors for the blog:
- Why do you want to start blogging? [purpose, goal, sharing, reflection, etc.]
- Do you enjoy writing? i.e. beyond 140-characters & comprehensively
- What format do you want your blog to be? Written or other, i.e. video, photo-sharing, podcasting?
- Do you want to express and share your ideas in a public, online forum?
- What focus will your blog take – work, education, learning, research, or all of the above?
- Who is your audience? Professional group affiliation? Research discipline? Just for yourself?
- What platform are you thinking about? Blogger, WordPress or other?
- Do you have an idea about how often you want to post to your blog?
- Where will you be getting ideas for your writing? [Content IS king.]
- How will this contribute to your learning, professional development, etc.? [depending on the person]
- When will you post to you blog? Daily? Weekly? Bi-weekly? Monthly?
Everyone has different reasons for the WHY they blog, or even how they started blogging. Some use blogging as a forum to connect to a professional or academic community. Others use their blog to share resources and ideas. Bloggers often present concepts and challenge the status quo in their field. Then there are other bloggers who use it for shameless self-promotion and self-marketing. The main point is – you should blog because you WANT TO BLOG.
My blogging tale started back in 2006 when I initially took up blogging to share my travel adventures and general life happenings on, Souvenirs of Canada, for family and friends who wanted to stay in touch. In 2008, I created TechKNOW Tools as a professional development space for an academic advising technology seminar for NACADA, and after that I continued to use this space to discuss my own work experiences, research projects, and share what I have been learning.
Image c/o Gaping Void
There are a number of reasons WHY I blog. Thanks to a researcher reviewing educational bloggers, I audited my own blogging experience, and I have considered what [really] prompts me to blog and continue to blog. For me, blogging and writing about my progress is very reflective and I enjoy documenting, sharing, critiquing, and writing about what is going on in my professional (and sometimes personal) sphere. I appreciate the community of research and educational bloggers who play in this blog sandbox. I like their comments, questions, challenges, and support — and at the end of the day I LIKE BLOGGING — otherwise I would not blog. Really.
If it sounds blogging might be just space for you to share your interests and express your ideas — go get your BLOG ON! Here’s a quick “HOW TO” Set Up a WordPress Blog I created for my learners, with a few helpful resources posted at the bottom to get you fired up for your blog writing. Want some more ideas? Here you go:
- Step-by-step Guide
- Start Blogging Online
- Blogger Getting Started Guide
- Blogging Basics 101 – How Do I Start a Blog?
Do you have resources for the beginning blogger out there? Any advice or comments for new or potential bloggers? Post it in the comments, and also be sure to say HOW LONG and WHY you blog. Blog on, my friends. Blog on.